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      IMPORTANT - READ BEFORE POSTING to SUPPORT FORUM   01/28/2011

      Posts to this Support Forum are to be related ONLY to one's ARCR membership. Posts which are inappropriate to the Support Forums will be deleted without comment. Please post all other types of questions to the appropriate forum. Only Forums Moderators, Administrators and ARCR Employees ae able to make any replies to this ARCR Support Forum. Paul M. Forums Moderator ==
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Stoic

New to ARCR, moving to Costa Rica in 2017

112 posts in this topic

Hi, I just wanted to introduce myself. My name's Jason and I will be moving from USA to CR next year, with my wife and our 2 boys (they'll be 9 and 7 when we move). Oh, and our little dog will likely tag along.

We'll probably spend some time in Heredia before deciding on a more permanent community. My old lady says she'd love the beach, but I'm DONE with living in hot and humid (we're in SE Texas). Maybe Atenas.

We've been planning for close to two years. Hope to learn more from these forums and maybe see some of y'all around.

Edited by Stoic

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Oh, maybe a little more about us. I hope to increase my location-independent income before we go (right now I could just swing rent and utilities over there), and my wife MIGHT be able to land a job. I speak okay Spanish, she does not.

 

Mostly I just want us out of the States. Costa Rica makes sense because we both like it, it's close enough that our friends and family would visit, and I do have something of a network to plug into.

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Welcome to the Fourms, Stoic.

 

I'm certain that you will find a boatload of helpful information on here.

 

There are also many knowledgeable folks on here, too.

 

Buena Suerte with your plans to relocate.

 

Regards,

 

Paul M.

Forums Moderator

==

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Welcome, use the time while you stil in Tx and apply for the residency, it is a long process, but you will need it to get a job here.

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Residency, which can take a year or more, is required for your children to enroll in the public school system but it is more likely that you will choose for them to enroll in a private facility...and they are not cheap. More info here regarding working, is here

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Welcome, use the time while you stil in Tx and apply for the residency, it is a long process, but you will need it to get a job here.

 

 

You need to be a permanent resident to work legally. Initial residency is temporary. After 3 years as a temporary resident you can become a permanent resident.

 

Wages are very low. Unless you have a special skill that some multinational company needs and they arrange a work permit for you, just forget it.

 

You could work illegally, but of course anyone can do anything illegal that they want. There would be a real risk of deportation.

 

If you can generate an income outside of Costa Rica, you will not be taxed on it here.

 

T

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If you can generate an income outside of Costa Rica, you will not be taxed on it here.

 

 

Hello again, Stoic.

 

What Tom says above may be your best way of supporting yourself. We have one member here on the Forums who operates her own business while in CR. It is online and based in Florida, so she is not actually working at a job that's in Costa Rica; it's back in the US. Thus she is not overstepping any of CR's residency restrictions about working by doing this.

 

Perhaps she'll chime in here and elaborate on her arrangement so you get an idea of how you might go about supporting yourselves in similar fashion, with an online business based outside CR, while you are in CR.

 

Solamente mis dos granitos de arena . . .

 

Regards,

 

Paul M.

==

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You can let me know if you have any questions about telecommuting with a US-based job or business. Your wife won't land a legal job without some type of special skills that would provide a work permit. If she gets any type of offer that doesn't include a discussion about the legality of what's going on, or if you're lead in any way to believe she can just leave every 90 days to renew her stamp & work, you're being mislead big time. This is illegal. If you apply under just about any other type of residency, you'll have temporary residency with restrictions which specifically means she cannot work.

 

I worked as Paul described above during my temporary residency status as a rentista (2006-2012). This enabled us to make the move while I earned a US-based income to support us. I'm a permanent resident now (since 2012) without restrictions so I don't have to worry about any of that :)

 

I moved to CR with 4 kids who were young at the time. Be sure you choose your location based on education needs first & foremost. Beach areas are great - that's where my house is - but there is not an acceptable school available & it's 45 minutes each way to the closest private bilingual school. I didn't consider that when I built my house & it was a mistake. I opted for homeschooling (another discussion entirely) until my oldest started his junior year in high school in 2013, at which time we moved our base of operations back to FL & I'm now back & forth between the two areas while getting the kids through high school.

 

Jessica

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You guys are so helpful : )

 

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to earn enough online to cover our expenses without our having to dip into savings. I think my wife would need work just to keep from going into a depression there. We have a couple of leads where she might be able to get a work permit there, but have not spoken to the potential employers about how they would approach it. We'll pursue those things in the next few months. Unfortunately (maybe) I think the jobs are closer to San Jose, in which case we'd have to live close enough to commute.

 

I am not sure how I want to approach residency,yet. Right now it looks like options are Vinculo, Rentista, PT, or some funky mix. I really would like to get permanent residence or citizenship ASAP though.

 

The next few months we'll just be improving our Spanish, getting the house ready to sell, bumping up online earnings, and strengthening our contacts.

 

So much boils down to money, doesn't it?

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You can't have a work permit (which are only valid for 1 yr and have to be reapplied for) while you have temporary residency. One or the other.

Edited by costaricafinca

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It boils down to the money, your kids and what type of environment you want to live in. Home schooling is illegal in Costa Rica, in case you are figuring on that.

 

There is some really good information here that you should read carefully: http://costaricalaw.com/

 

Understand that work permits are VERY difficult to get unless, as someone else wrote, you have some kind of "special" skill that would be very valuable in Costa Rica. Working online is your best bet.

 

We've all had "The Dream" and we are not trying to sour you on your dream, but just trying to be realistic so you don't have any ugly surprises.

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Understand that work permits are VERY difficult to get unless, as someone else wrote, you have some kind of "special" skill that would be very valuable in Costa Rica. Working online is your best bet.

 

 

I'm a certified teacher with experience and I got a job at a private school and applied for a work permit through my job. That was more than four years ago and I'm still waiting approval (I've since moved back to the USA). So... yeah. :wacko:

 

I will say that I know plenty of people who did get their residency through their school. My school was kind of a mess. The certified international schools get their teachers residency no problem. But of course these are certified teachers with at least 3 years experience. Not just any random gringo who speaks English.

Edited by lucybelle

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Hi Jason,

 

I'd like to add my welcome to the others. My spouse does consulting work, all online, and all clients are in the US, and it has been easy for him to maintain his client base. Especially if you'll be in the Heredia area to start, you should have good internet access (and make sure that this is the case wherever you move).

 

You say your wife may be depressed if she isn't working. If she doesn't get a work permit (and, as others have said, wages are quite low here), she could volunteer. There are all sorts of venues out there for native English speakers to volunteer in classrooms or elsewhere, and it's tremendously rewarding. There may be other options, depending on her interests: a good way to fill some time and make friends and get to know your community.

 

Lucybelle weighed in before I was done with my answer, but her experience was pretty tough to go through, and she was an experienced teacher married to a Tico. Another forum member, older than lucybelle, and also married to a Tico, was an experienced ESL teacher, had her work permits, but wound up quitting because of the bureaucratic nonsense she had to put up with at her school. So even with everything in place, it can be a challenge.

 

That being said, be prepared for the challenges that may be thrown at you, and 2017 will be here before you know it!

 

with kind regards,

Gayle

Edited by salish sea

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Thank you all very much.

 

I didn't know work permit/temp res was either/or. Wife does have some work skills/experience that could qualify her, but if it doesn't put her on path to perm residence then it's probably not going to work out. We figure pay is going to be pretty crap, so there has to be other incentive.

 

What I'm leaning towards is Vinculo app started sometime this year (not clear about what I'd have to show in terms of income), and then just travel with my family as necessary, until I get citizenship. Then family comes in under that. Long process.

 

I'm bracing myself for the differences in lifestyle. Just the thousand little things that I'm sure will add up.

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